Big Money Is Funneled Into School Choice

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BY DAVID LYNN/ Students First PAC has become a big voice for school choice since it began reporting contributions and expenditures in 2010. The committee listed $6,371,300 from a small pool of contributors in 2010 (43 contributions total) and $354,000 in 2011 (7 contributions total.) Given the size of the contributions and the occupations of the contributors, which include a CEO, a venture capitalist, and a few managing directors of a financial-services firm, one wonders whether any of the contributors have children who will ever see the inside of a public school, let alone attend one.

By far the largest contributor is American Federation for Children Action Fund, an organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. that promotes school choice. The organization contributed $1,200,000 to Students First PAC in 2010 and $220,000.00 in 2011.

The group made 83 contributions totaling $4,499,000 in 2010 to a variety of legislators and committees, including several elected officials from Philadelphia. The list includes $60,000 to Citizens to Elect Dwight Evans, $100,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, $100,000 to Keystone Leaders’s PAC, $100,000 to Friends of Joseph Scarnati, $100,000 to Friends of Dominic Pileggi, $100,000 to Williams for Senate, and a whopping $3,365,000 to Williams for Governor. It should be noted that Anthony Hardy Williams raised $8,147,135.55 in 2010 for his run for Governor, and Students First PAC accounted for approximately 41% of this total.

In 2011, the group spent $280,325, giving $10,600 to Friends of Maria, $10,600 to Bobby 11, $10,600 to Citizens for David Oh, $10,600 to Citizens for Kenyatta Johnson and $10,250 to Friends of Jewell Williams, among others.

In 2012 cycle 1, Students First PAC gave $25,000 to Friends of Fatimah, the political committee for Fatimah Lorén Muhammad, according to a filing found on the Philadelphia Board of Ethics website.  Muhammad is challenging incumbent State Rep. James Roebuck (D-188) in the Democratic primary. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer story detailed how flyers have been appearing in mailboxes in the 188th District accusing Roebuck of failing the community with respect to education. Roebuck is the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee. Note: The author was a former supporter of Roebuck until his affirmative vote for Act 44, which raised the salaries of lawmakers in the middle of the night.

A full list of contributions made in 2010 by Students First PAC is as follows:

Boyd Victory Committee              $2,000

Citizens for Jake Wheatley           $10,000

Citizens for Jim Christiana             $2,000

Citizens for Louise Bishop             $5,000

Citizens for Pat Browne $15,000

Citizens for Yudichak      $7,500

Citizens to Elect Dwight Evans    $60,000

Comm. to Elect Cody Knotts        $2,000

Comm. to Elect David M. Maloney           $7,500

Comm. to Elect Doyle Heffley     $7,500

Comm. to Elect Joe Emrick           $7,500

Comm. to Elect Margo Davidson               $7,500

Committee to Elect Ron Waters                $2,500

Committee to Elect State Sen.Shirley Kitchen     $7,500

Committee to Elect  Tom Quigley              $7,500

Committee to Elect Tony Payton Jr          $5,000

Committee to Re-Elect  Senator Mike Stack         $7,500

Elect Bill Kortz    $5,000

Friends for Jay Moyer Committee            $2,000

Friends of Andy Dinniman            $20,000

Friends of Bill Adolph     $5,000

Friends of Bryan Allen    $7,500

Friends of Cherelle L. Parker       $2,500

Friends of Chuck Mcllhinney       $7,500

Friends of Dan Naylor    $2,000

Friends of Dan Truitt       $2,000

Friends of Dominic Pileggi            $100,000

Friends of Don White     $20,000

Friends of Doug Reichley              $2,000

Friends of Eli Evankovich               $7,500

Friends of George Dunbar           $7,500

Friends of Gerry Vaerewyck       $7,500

Friends of Gordon Denlinger      $2,000

Friends of Jeff Piccola    $50,000

Friends of Jewell Williams            $5,000

Friends of John Lawrence            $7,500

Friends of John Myers   $5,000

Friends of Joseph Scarnati           $100,000

Friends of Justin M. Simmons     $7,500

Friends of Kate Harper  $2,500

Friends of Kenyatta Johnson      $15,000

Friends of Kurt Masser  $2,000

Friends of Leanna Washington   $10,000

Friends of Lisa Boscola   $7,500

Friends of Mike O’Pake $7,500

Friends of Mike Turzai Campaign Committee      $50,000

Friends of Mike Vereb   $7,500

Friends of Richard Saccone          $7,500

Friends of Scott Petri      $2,000

Friends of Thaddeus Kirkland     $5,000

Friends of Todd Stephens, Inc.  $7,500

Friends of Tom Bogar     $2,000

Friends of Warren Kampf             $7,500

Friends to Elect Vanessa Lowery Brown $12,000

Glenn Johnston for PA House                                                    $2,000

Hardy Williams Educational Fund               $5,000

House Republican Campaign Comm.       $100,000

I like Eich              $7,500

I’m for Knowles Committee        $2,000

John Rafferty for Senate              $7,500

JoyceHaas.com $2,500

Keystone Leaders’s PAC               $100,000

Kris Vanderman for State Senate              $7,500

Michael G. Tobash for a better 125th      $7,500

Mike Farell for Senate   $7,500

Mike Folmer for State Senate    $20,000

Onorato for Governor   $25,000

Richard Orloski for Senate # 16  $7,500

Robert Godshall for Legislature Committee         $2,000

Rosemary Brown for State Rep.                $7,500

Stephen Bloom for the 199th Comm.      $2,000

Tom Corbett for Governor           $27,000

Tommy Tomlinson for State Senate         $7,500

Toomey for Senate         $2,500

Williams for Governor    $3,365,000

Williams for Senate         $100,000

 

A full list of contributions made in 2011 by Students First PAC is as follows:

 

Bloom for the 199th Committee                $250

Bobby 11             $10,600

Citizens for Browne        $3,000

Citizens for David Oh      $10,600

Citizens for Grove            $300

Citizens for Jim Christiana             $1,000

Citizens for Kenyatta Johnson    $10,600

Citizens to Elect Payne   $250

Commiittee to Elect Rob Kauffman          $300

Committe to Elect Tom Quiqley $250

Committee to Elect Brian Ellis     $250

Committee to Elect David Maloney          $250

Committee to Elect Joe Emerick                $250

Committee to Elect Margo Davidson       $16,000

Committee to Elect Ron Waters                $800

Committee to Elect Todd Rock   $500

Committee to Elect Tony Payton Jr.         $1,000

Committee to Re-Elect Senator Mike Stack          $2,500

DePasquale for Pennsylvania     $250

Elect Bill Kortz Committee            $500

Friends for Donna Oberlander   $500

Friends for Sheryl Delozier           $500

Friends of Andy Dinniman            $25,000

Friends of Bill Adolph     $1,000

Friends of Bob Godshall                $500

Friends of Brendan Boyle             $1,000

Friends of Chuck Mcllhinney       $1,000

Friends of Dan Truitt       $200

Friends of Dave Hickernell           $300

Friends of Dave Reed     $1,000

Friends of Dick Stevenson            $500

Friends of Dominic Pileggi            $17,500

Friends of Eli      $500

Friends of Frank Farry    $250

Friends of George Dunbar           $200

Friends of Jaret Gibbons               $250

Friends of Jeff Piccola    $5,000

Friends of Jewell Williams            $10,250

Friends of Joe Hackett   $200

Friends of Joe Scarnati   $5,000

Friends of Justin M. Simmons     $500

Friends of Kathy Watson              $500

Friends of Kenyatta Johnson      $2,000

Friends of Kurt Masser  $225

Friends of Larry Farnese               $1,000

Friends of Larry Medaglia             $7,500

Friends of LeAnna Washington  $6,000

Friends of Maria               $10,600

Friends of Marquerite Quinn      $500

Friends of Martin Causer              $300

Friends of Matt Gabler  $250

Friends of Mike Brubaker             $1,000

Friends of Mike Turzai   $5,000

Friends of Rich Alloway $500

Friends of Rick Saccone $500

Friends of Ron Marsico  $500

Friends of Scott Petri      $750

Friends of Steve Barrar  $300

Friends of Thaddeus Kirkland     $2,000

Friends of Tina Pickett   $300

Friends to Elect Vanessa Brown $3,000

Harris for Representative             $250

I’m for Knowles Committee        $250

Keystone Leaders PAC  $1,000

Killion Victory Committee             $300

Lou Barletta for Congress             $150

Make a Difference PAC $15,000

Mary Joe White for PA Senate   $500

Michael Tobash for a Better 125th            $250

Patriots for Perry             $500

Reichley for Judge           $300

Republican Comm. of Lwr.

Merion & Narberth    $50,000

Robbins for Senate         $500

Smucker for Senate        $1,500

South East Republican Senate Victory Committee             $7,500

Sue Helm for State House Comm.            $500

Tom Corbett for Governor           $25,000

Vogel for Senate              $1,000

Volunteers for Argall      $2,500

 

(David Lynn maintains an SQL Server database with approximately 12,000,000 campaign finance records. He also provides free software to run political campaigns. Email him at David@DAL-Services.com.)

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